At 21 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I suffered a complete and spontaneous rupture of the membranes, (pPROM) in layman terms this means my waters broke, very early. At the hospital I was instantly told to terminate the pregnancy, as my baby was not currently viable and would never survive to viability. I was told that even if he DID make it to viability then he still wouldn’t survive, as his lungs would stop developing at 21 weeks and 6 days. I was told he had NO chance of survival at all.
All I heard for those vital first few days was TERMINATE. I was told I would get an infection, that I would get sepsis, that I would die. That my baby would be born unable to breathe and die anyway. But my baby was still alive, and his tiny heart was still beating, and he was kicking me. I looked each doctor in the eye and I said NO. I will not kill a perfectly healthy child because he MAY not survive, right now he was alive, and so was I. I was not in any immediate danger, and my baby deserved the chance to survive.
By the time I got online, and was able to do my own research, I realised that many other people had suffered membrane rupture, like me, very early in their pregnancies. This was known as pProm, Preterm, premature rupture of the membranes. And surprisingly many babies HAD made it, many hadn’t of course, but the chances were far from 0% they seemed much higher to me, maybe as high as 20%, higher if we made it to viability without infection or labour.
I was transferred to a hospital with a special care baby unit at 23 weeks and was told they were willing to try and help him, if he showed vigorous signs of life, even at 23 weeks. Even now as I was leaving, I was told this baby had little to no chance at all, but they knew I was not giving up.
I held on for four weeks from my pProm, to 25 weeks and 6 days and then went into labour on the 30th March. Well I started going into labour a couple of days before, but my little baby Gideon, was born on the 30th March at 1 in the morning. He was born fighting, he gave us a tiny cry before they ventilated him, and he scored 8 on his apgars.
He lived for a fantastic 17 days in the SCBU but died from a combination of IVH (brain hemmorhage), infection and his slightly smaller lungs. It was all too much for my Gideon to take, and we decided to remove his vent and let him die in my arms.
I would not change a single second of the weeks on bedrest, or the short time I had with him. I miss him every day. He is my angel.
I submitted my story to faces of loss, and you can read the whole story here.
Surviving on the tiniest glimmers of hope.